The CDP recognises that an efficient transport system including road, rail, air and maritime is essential to the maintenance and growth of Australia and the needs of all citizens. We recognise that roads and other areas of transportation are part of the foundation of almost all services and infrastructure of the nation. Therefore the CDP feel a strong priority must be given to these areas of infrastructure and as there are many areas where flooding has the potential to cut road and rail services it is imperative that a total flood proofing program be undertaken for all our transport facilities at the earliest convenience.
Road and Rail
The CDP understands that as Australians are often separated by vast distances it is vital to maintain and efficient road and rail transport infrastructure for all Australians. It is most unfortunate that the bicentennial road program was abandoned by the Hawke Government; we will want to complete that program as soon as possible.
Much has been said about Very Fast Train services but we want to commence planning to construct VFT services so as to link communities with high speed rail to aid effective and sustainable decentralization. We believe both high speed and normal services can run in the same corridor and where possible in the medium strip of highways and divided roads.
Many abandoned passenger rail services need to be considered to be reopened with consideration given to combined freight and passenger services.
CDP has a preference for freight to be transported where possible by rail to regional distribution areas. We believe it wise to have heavy vehicles – greater than 10 ton – not to haul import and export products to the city based air or shipping ports and hence transfer terminals will need to be created and a rail connection need to be constructed.
The CDP has great concerns regarding the challenges faced by some regional airports to maintain services to local communities. It has been estimated that as many as 50% are operating at a loss and are dependent on subsidies from government owners already under financial pressure.
The CDP therefore proposes discussions with airport operators, relevant governments and local communities as to how to develop other activities or services that could be used to generate incomes to maintain services, rather than risk further isolation for many Australians in rural and remote communities.
It is important that our waterways are used safely, efficiently and without undue pollution remembering that life is in and on the waterways. Transport via waterways should be encouraged to be further developed. Our harbours need to be efficient and managed by the State so that Australia’s best interest is served in the best manner and not an external business plan to Australia’s long term economic future.